The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, paperback, 121 pages, published by The Blue Sky Press/Scholastic Inc. in 1997.
Harold and George are two rather mischievous and naughty boys. They like to play pranks on their fellow students, and their teachers, clown around in class, and just generally be pretty silly. They also write their own comic books together, creating various super heroes and villains, with Captain Underpants being their best loved hero. They sell their home-made comics to other kids at school.
The very mean and grumpy principal of Harold and George’s school has been trying to catch them playing their pranks for years, and finally he gets them on video destroying an important football match. He uses this tape to blackmail the boys into being his personal slaves. The boys have an idea to escape their slavery involving a hypnotic ring , but things don’t go quite the way they imagined when the principal believes himself to be Captain Underpants, and wants to go and save the day.
This book is the first in a series of Captain Underpants adventures. It was pretty silly, but still entertaining. My seven year old and all her friends love reading Captain Underpants’ adventures, again and again. Toilet humour is big with the kids at the moment, and this book really caters to that obsession. This is an easy read great for early primary school children with funny black and white illustrations throughout. With short chapters and text broken up with plenty of pictures, this book would be good for reluctant readers too. There is also a ‘flip-o-rama’ section, where one is instructed to flip the page back and forth to animate some of the pictures, which was fun. Overall, not a literary classic, but good as a light and amusing read for kids.